Evaluation of a Community Health Nurses in Schools program with Latrobe Community Health Service

Female nurse standing in the doorway showing her identity card to an old lady opening her door.

CEI worked with Latrobe Community Health Service, in collaboration with the Latrobe Health Assembly, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education and Training, to conduct an evaluation of a Community Health Nurse in Schools program within the Latrobe Valley

The Latrobe Valley is a designated Health Innovation Zone within the state of Victoria. This designation gives voice to community aspirations in the planning and delivery of better health and wellbeing outcomes and encourages co-design with individuals and organisations.

The Community Health Nurse in Schools program has been running since mid-2017 and has expanded on two separate occasions. It now operates across eight primary schools in the region. The initiative is funded primarily through the Latrobe Health Assembly, with joint state-departmental input from the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Health and Human Services. The intervention recognises that children's health, wellbeing and opportunity to thrive are inextricably linked with their attendance at school.

We used a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies in the evaluation, speaking to key stakeholders from healthcare and education, and triangulating information with routine nursing data. We aimed to gather insight into whether the program has achieved its objectives, and to identify ways in which it may be improved in the future. CEI was pleased to deepen our work alongside a community healthcare service delivering a locally developed and led program in a priority area.